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KARACHI: Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has failed to mention the period and the utilization of Re.1 levy, being collected as service charges on every single invoice issued through all points of sales (POSs) across the country, triggering serious disenchantment from the traders and consumers.

The FBR through a notification issued last year, imposed Re. 1 levy on every single invoice issued through POS integrated with FBR’s computerized system for real-time reporting sales. However, the FBR has kept mum over the period of its imposition and its utilization.

Talking to Business Recorder, Shagufta Khalid, who is a resident of Gulzar-e-Hijri, Karachi, and a frequent shopper of big marts, expressed her disenchantment over service charges imposed on every single invoice generated through POS, saying that the levy, which was imposed without mentioning its effective period and its utilization by FBR, was nothing but another way to steal money from the pockets of the common man.

Integration with POS system: Tier-1 retailers issue 37m invoices in January

She said the FBR had neither mentioned any specific date of its expiry nor disclosed where this hefty collection would be utilized; raising serious questions and may dent the credibility of the organization in near future in case of no clarification.

Qudsia Shamim, a banker and a resident of Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Karachi said: “Why should we pay taxes, if no one – either federal or provincial authorities take the responsibility to ensure even basic amenities for the inhabitants of this beautiful cosmopolitan city which has now turned into Moen-jo-Daro. We have nothing to do with provincial autonomy through constitutional amendments; our major concern is how and when Karachi development budget would be utilized and when we would have our health card as like other inhabitants of different provinces. But both federal and provincial authorities are more interested to generate substantial revenue from this city to achieve their targets, instead of taking measures to ensure equal rights for every citizen no matter from where he/she belongs to”.

Ali Raza Chandio, chief accountant at one of the multinational companies said that the credibility of FBR was always questionable but now it has taken a leap to steal money from the pockets of the common man through this Re.1 levy, which may utilize to allure more businessmen into the POS system through cash rewards.

Meanwhile, Zeeshan Merchant, president of Karachi Tax Bar Association (KTBA) confirmed that the FBR had so far not revealed the period and the utilization of Re.1 levy in its notification.

He said that the taxpayers were facing serious challenges in POS, saying that the system had no option of credit note facility in case of goods return.

“In addition, the tax harmonization between federal and provincial tax authorities has not been taken place, creating serious difficulties for the taxpayers”, he said and added that the big stores had a system to overview consolidated sales of their different stores located in different places and cities but the FBR’s POS system doesn’t.

The POS system is recording real-time sales of different branches of the same brand, separately, which will create serious difficulties during the audit,” he maintained.

Zeeshan further said that the FBR was striving to roll out the POS system across the country as soon as possible but it was implemented in a haphazard way that led to creating problems for both the taxmen and the taxpayers.

“We have sent many letters to the FBR, asking to resolve issues related to the POS system but no outcome has been witnessed so far”, president KTBA said.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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